Saturday, June 15, 2013

Memories - fading shades of time

On a recent phone call to my father , I had skimmed through some days of the past, what once had been bright now sitting dappled in shadows of fuzzy memories.I tried to re-ignite some sparks, pushing on recall- on events, sounds ,  then on to scents,and then finally giving up. It left me with just a sense of all permeating sadness, glancing at life, how it is , how it had been...
As a child I had dismissed and mostly disliked my great grandmother, for her need to repeat the selfsame stories, her critical and restrictive nature not sitting well with the little child that was me. Now I see the same nature shifts in my father, a shift I see each time I visit,as time stretch long  in between.Yet depending on his shifts, I too reach back and recall , understanding anew  the aging mind , the aging brain.
I compare notes in my mind and see that after all, none of it is all that different, be that my great grandmother or my father. the similarities stand out dwarfing the differences...
I see again the stooping stature of my great grand mother, her critical rants, soon forgotten giving way to the  need to  consume my attention with her stories from the past while all my tiny legs waited was to follow my mind to a run in the sand.
I see my father doing identical things, slight stoop indicating his bone loosing itself as gravity works on his body.  I picture tendrils of plaques clouding  over, probably firing away on his neurons sending off error signals that come streaming as annoyance at my four year old nephew for rushing off before his repeated stories are done...Through the years the changes are there, pendulous arcing moments that track some of the past.
Irritability laced stories giving  way to some slight , real and imagined, which then had given way to an exacting mode with a need to control every one whom he perceived to be a child at some point in time,telling us all how to do day to day activities the right way. This then was replaced with a certain pleasantness phase , when all the stories became humorous and goodnatured. Yet with each of these phases part of his memory had slipped away,dissolving quietly.
Of course there are moments of clarity, brief and momentary, may be as another neuron sparks, bringing into sharp focus another stored away memory, another sliver of protein , and then it goes pulling of all connections.Now memories are mostly defined by their absence, everything has become vague and undefined and hence lost....I imagine the plaques hiding in the shadowy deeps of the brain like an octopus, spewing ink over memories and grasping the neurons one by one in its tentacles. I picture the neurons sparking at  their dendrites,lost in a  confounding ocean of memories of a lifetime , igniting one faint event with that  misplaced spark, as it is disabled and then the memory can not be retrieved for it is lost, not to just one neuron, but to all association areas and hence is gone...all gone to rest in that amorphous amalgam as the ink spewing octopus swim along....we all , the children watch, some cry, some get annoyed, some ignore it all, some times we do all these together, yet none of us can bring back the associations, because we do not hold anything to trigger these memories.No key words, no RNA, nothing , nothing
There are no shared memories now, they have become just ours for now, and we have waited too long to share them and now they have become for us a burden, by not sharing them earlier...we have let the plaques win, we did not even notice them, we tarried and now we hold regrets, not knowing where to put them down, for now its ours to hold forever....

1 comment:

  1. I love your father. Memories never end, because they are shared, and they become part of our life stories...and even if we don't remember the stories, they become part of us.